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Lens review

Sigma 4.5 mm f/2.8 EX DC CIRCULAR FISHEYE HSM

24 November 2009
Szymon Starczewski

11. Summary

Pros:
  • high build quality,
  • excellent picture quality in the frame centre,
  • good work against bright light,
  • low coma,
  • moderate astigmatism,
  • possibility to use standard filters,
  • generous selection of accessories,
  • three-year guarantee with a possibility to prolong it for another two years.

Cons:

  • chromatic aberration too high at the very edge.

The Sigma 2.8/4.5 is an extremely interesting lens – as befits the first device in its category. It is an excellent instrument to play with photography and you will have plenty of fun if you try to take a portrait of somebody by putting the front element near the nose of your victim. Additionally, it is an ideal device for self-portraits of any kind; ideal to such a degree that it is really difficult to shoot a picture without at least one tiny bit of the photographer protruding somewhere.

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Let’s pass to a more serious part of our summary, though. The very characteristic of a circular “fisheye” and the desire to preserve its properties on Sigma 1.7x sensors or on Four Thirds system is the reason why most part of the Canon’s (and even more Nikon’s) detector is wasted- it simply doesn’t register the picture and in this way causes ineffective use of pixels on a matrix.

What’s interesting, a different tactic was used in each of the two new Sigma lenses. A 10 mm model is a “fisheye” (so has a 180 degrees angle diagonally) only on 1.5x sensors. On a Canon and a Sigma it is no longer a proper “fisheye” and it will be even less so on an Olympus. Meanwhile the 2.8/4.5 model is designed in such a way that it remains a circular “fisheye” on 1.5, 1.6 and 1.7 multipliers. When this model of Sigma appears with a Four Third system mount even there it will act as a “fisheye” lens without cropping the field of view.

It’s difficult to compare the Sigma, tested here, with any other instrument because the Sigma company as the first launched a circular „fisheye” designed for crop sensors. Even in the overall scale the results for the frame centre are impressive. The borders stand out significantly but they are not bad for this type of instrument either. We have no reservations about the build quality, the optics is also very good – the Sigma 2.8/4.5 is definitely a lens to be recommended.

Sample shots:

Sigma 4.5 mm f/2.8 EX DC CIRCULAR FISHEYE HSM - Summary Sigma 4.5 mm f/2.8 EX DC CIRCULAR FISHEYE HSM - Summary Sigma 4.5 mm f/2.8 EX DC CIRCULAR FISHEYE HSM - Summary
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 4.5 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/400 sec., ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 1.8 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 4.5 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/200 sec., ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 1.7 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 4.5 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/250 sec., ISO 400
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 1.7 MB
Sigma 4.5 mm f/2.8 EX DC CIRCULAR FISHEYE HSM - Summary Sigma 4.5 mm f/2.8 EX DC CIRCULAR FISHEYE HSM - Summary Sigma 4.5 mm f/2.8 EX DC CIRCULAR FISHEYE HSM - Summary
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 4.5 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/100 sec., ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 1.7 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 4.5 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/100 sec., ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 1.6 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 4.5 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/1000 sec., ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.0 MB
Sigma 4.5 mm f/2.8 EX DC CIRCULAR FISHEYE HSM - Summary Sigma 4.5 mm f/2.8 EX DC CIRCULAR FISHEYE HSM - Summary Sigma 4.5 mm f/2.8 EX DC CIRCULAR FISHEYE HSM - Summary
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 4.5 mm, f/11.0, exp. 1/200 sec., ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 1.7 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 4.5 mm, f/4.5, exp. 1/250 sec., ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.2 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 4.5 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/2000 sec., ISO 100
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 1.9 MB
Sigma 4.5 mm f/2.8 EX DC CIRCULAR FISHEYE HSM - Summary Sigma 4.5 mm f/2.8 EX DC CIRCULAR FISHEYE HSM - Summary Sigma 4.5 mm f/2.8 EX DC CIRCULAR FISHEYE HSM - Summary
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 4.5 mm, f/2.8, exp. 30 sec., ISO 800
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.1 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 4.5 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/25 sec., ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 1.6 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 4.5 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/640 sec., ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.0 MB



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